Employers group flags concern for workers' welfare during modified lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 11:48 AM

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MANILA - Companies likely have contingency plans to survive another lockdown but the government should assist workers who would lose jobs or income as restrictions tighten, a group of employers said Tuesday. 

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines agree with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno that reverting back to modified enhanced community quarantine has "limited impact" to the economy, its president Sergio Ortiz-Luis told ANC.

The government however should ensure that workers who will lose their income for the next two weeks will be taken cared of, Ortiz-Luis said. At least 3 million workers in NCR will be affected, he added.

"Business I think, (and) I agree with Mr Diokno that whatever adjustment, we have factored it in already. The effect on the workers is more of our concern because there maybe at least 3 million workers that would be back to the barracks," Ortiz-Luis said.

"It will be the problem of the government in the next 2 weeks because they will have no income...These people who would have to stop immediately, no notice... you’re talking even of bus, jeepney drivers. I don’t think they have enough money to support themselves (even) for three days," he added.

The group said the government should ramp up approval of a stimulus package and to lay down the exact amount of aid allotted for firms and workers.

Cash aid should be enough and should be timely distributed, Ortiz-Luis said. Testing should be improved, additional rows in hospitals should be allocated and barangays should have their own quarantine centers, he added. 

Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna are under modified enhanced community quarantine until Aug. 18.